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Top 10 Sporting Debuts

Following Ashton Agar’s outrageous knock of 98 on debut at number 11 for Australia against England at Trent Bridge, take a look at some of the most sparkling first appearances of  all time from the world of sport.

10. Jeremy Guscott: England v Romania 1989

One of the greats of English and indeed British rugby thanks to his performances for the Lions, the classy centre may have only had to take on Romania on his England debut but he did it in typical style scoring a hat-trick of tries. This was the first 15 of a magnificent 143 points he managed for his country.

9. Sergio Aguero: Man City v Swansea 2011

There are plenty examples of stunning debuts on a football field but few men have announced themselves in as short a spell as Sergio Aguero did on his Manchester City debut. He came on with half an hour left and his team leading Swansea 1-0 and duly scored twice and set up another in one of the most perfect half hour displays you could imagine. It was certainly a sign of what was to come from the prolific Argentine.

8. Terry Griffiths: 1979 World Snooker Championship

The Welshman was a rank outsider on his World Championship debut at the Crucible in 1979, especially as he had to face second seed Perrie Mans first up. He ousted the South African, then the legendary Alex Higgins and steady Eddie Charlton before seeing off Dennis Taylor in the final.

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7. Ashton Agar: Australia v England July 2013

A surprise selection to say the least for the first match of this year’s Ashes series given that he has played just 11 first class matches and taken his wickets at an average of over 30. However, it was the spin bowling that he was picked for that made his debut so noteworthy as he smashed 98 in Australia’s first innings, the highest score for a number 11 in the history of the game.

6. Wayne Rooney: Manchester United v Fenerbache 2004

Having just cost Manchester United a hefty £25.6 million there was plenty expected from the 18-year-old and he certainly delivered in his first appearance in a United shirt. He took to the field against Fenerbache in his first ever Champions League appearance and netted a sensational hat-trick in a 6-2 win.

5. Juan Marichal: Giants v Phillies 1960

The pitcher from Dominican Republic is one of Major League Baseball’s greats and it was immediately obvious when he made his debut for San Francisco Giants in 1960 against Philadelphia Phillies. He looked on for a no hitter at one stage but settled with a one-hit shutout, walking one and striking out 12.

4. Keith Deller 1983 World Darts Championship

The 23-year-old from Ipswich turned up for his first World Championship a rank outsider and a virtual unknown but he was not intimidated as he beat greats of the game Jocky Wilson and John Lowe to make it to the final where he saw off Eric Bristow 6-5 in one of the greatest finals in history.

3. Ben Curtis: 2003 Open Championship

Not only was the 2003 event at Royal St George’s Curtis’ first appearance at the Open Championship, but his first ever at any major. He was a 300/1 outsider and against all the odds managed to scrape a win ahead of much more experienced campaigners Thomas Bjorn and Vijay Singh in one of the biggest upsets and greatest debuts in sporting history.

2. Boris Becker: Wimbledon 1985

At just 17 and making his Wimbledon debut there weren’t many expecting Becker to make waves in the competition, especially with the likes of McEnroe, Connors and Lendl in the field, but somehow the German teenager romped to his first of three SW19 titles. He did somehow manage to avoid playing anyone who had ever won a Grand Slam in the past but even so it was an unbelievable first appearance at the all England club.

1. Eddy Merckx: 1969 Tour de France

Arguably the greatest cyclist of all time made a stunning start to his participation in the Tour de France when he not only claimed the general classification but also the points and mountain classifications, the only man ever to do so.

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